Hint #2: Network with writers
MAGAZINE HEALTH WRITING BASIC 12 part – 2
Even before you snag your first health writing assignment, it helps to hang around on writers forums, subscribe to writers’ blogs, and read books recently written by established working freelancers. I don’t just mean health writers–in fact resources specifically for health writers are scarce (that’s why I started this blog).
The idea is to get a feel for the culture and language. Of course, a lot of what you’ll hear is pure silliness and stuff that won’t apply to you. But soaking up the language and culture will inform your conversations with editors. You’ll sound like a working writer, even if you’re not.
For example, you’ll find out how long it takes for a piece to get from pitch to print. That will help you avoid mistakes, like pitching a holiday story to a magazine editor mere weeks before the actual holiday. (Most magazines take months, newspapers are much quicker.) And you’ll pick up on editor pet peeves and avoid sounding like a PR rep or a clueless newbie.
You’ll also pick up tips on accessible writing markets and approachable editors and find out which publications are launching, changing their focus, or folding. You’ll learn what other writers struggle with and what makes the work flow better.
Here are a few links to get you started (more to come):
- Freelance Success Subscription resource with active forum and magazine market reports for established writers
- Emma Hitt’s HittList Free weekly subscription email with science/medical writing/editing jobs
- Copyblogger Copywriting tips for online marketing success
- Eric Sherman’s WriteBiz The business of writing, including understanding contracts and copyright
- The Renegade Writers Blog Book related freelance writers blog
- The Golden Pencil A B5media freelance writer’s resource
- Media Bistro Comprehensive career community for media professionals
- Magazine Death Pool Chronicle of magazines biting the dust
Happy Health Writing,
[See the full list of 12 hints here: 12 Hints for Magazine Health Writers]